We’ve been over this before, but it bears repeating before we dive into this topic full-on. In order to get the most out of consoles like the PlayStation 4 Pro and the Xbox One X, you’re going to need a 4K capable television. You’ll need a pretty big one, too, because you won’t be able to really discern all that extra pixel density on a small screen.
Let’s low-ball the market here and say that a 4K TV will run you $600. A good one will be much more, but we’re going low to remain conservative. You’ll need to plop down $499 on the new Xbox One X and $600 on a new TV to enjoy all that the console has to offer. You’ll need to buy games, too, but we’ll get there.
That’s $1,100. That’s more than enough to build a PC that can do everything the Xbox One X can do (and then some). You’ll also be able to upgrade the PC whenever you want instead of having to buy a whole new console every few years. The Xbox One X isn’t modular.
Why am I banging this drum right now?
I’m not suggesting the Xbox One X is a bad platform. This is a robust, capable console that’s totally worth $499. There’s no doubt about that in my mind. If you’re that person that can’t be bothered with building a PC, this could be the machine for you. I’d argue that, so far, Microsoft’s exclusives have been the weakest over the last few years, but that’s more about taste than actual fact. I don’t have a problem with this hardware, though. It’s totally solid.
My issue comes from Microsoft’s good will towards consumers.
I watched the E3 presentation last night, and Microsoft seemed so keen on reminding me that I could play pretty much everything on Windows 10 just as well as Xbox One. What’s the point of the new console, then? It’s not like $499 is all that cheap when you consider how much you’ll have to pay to dive into 4K gaming.
Here’s the thing for me: Microsoft didn’t really sell me too hard on their games. The Xbox One X is, no doubt, a beastly console. However, it doesn’t line up with Microsoft’s overall vision of platform unification. The Xbox One X would be an absolute no-brainer if I couldn’t play its “exclusives” anywhere else. That decision to launch games on both Xbox One and Windows 10, though? That’s what’s really damning Microsoft here.
I bought a PlayStation 4 because I can’t play Uncharted (or whatever other PlayStation exclusive you’d like to list) anywhere else. The Nintendo Switch? Aside from its portable and home form-factor, I can’t play Zelda anywhere else.
Xbox? I can play all of the most recent games that launched for it on my PC. The games we saw at E3? I can play those on PC, too. Forza 7? That’ll be on my PC. Crackdown 3? PC. Sea of Thieves? PC.
My PC can play more than just Xbox One ports, too.
In a strange way, if Microsoft had never actually opted to make its games playable on the PC and Xbox One platforms, I don’t think I’d be able to suggest that the Xbox One X is a potentially misguided buy. Microsoft needs to work extra hard to earn attraction now. I think the Xbox One X is a step in the right direction, for sure, but there’s some work to be done.
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